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Solving An Age-Old Problem, The Gambia Balances Forests And Food

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In the developing world, one of the most common problems is the expansion of food production to feed growing populations. Historically, the answer in many places has been to replace forests with agriculture. Currently, the practice is responsible for over seventy-five percent of global deforestation, according to the U.N.’s Food and Agriculture Organization.

But there are alternatives. A small West African nation of just over two million people, The Gambia is managing to both produce more food and grow more forests. And in the process, they are providing a valuable example for other developing countries around the world.

How are they doing it? Since 1990, the Gambian government has been transferring ownership of forest lands to over 500 local communities. Those communities now manage around 10 percent of the nation's forests. For the whole remarkable story, you can read the Ozy feature article here.

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